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WELLNESS

Health and wellness are terms that are often interchanged, but their origins and meanings are different. As established by the World Health Organization (WHO) in the 1940s, health is referred to as, “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.

Wellness is considered a conscious, self-directed and evolving process of achieving full potential. Wellness is multidimensional and holistic, encompassing lifestyle, mental and spiritual well-being, and the environment. It is positive and affirming.

The difference between health and wellness, in short, health is a state of being, whereas wellness is the state of living a healthy lifestyle. Health refers to physical, mental, and social well-being; wellness aims to enhance well-being.

There are 8 dimensions of wellness.
They are:

  • EMOTIONAL
    It is important to focus on self-care, take time to relax, consciously work on reducing stress and develop inner strength, resilience to face issues and bounce back from difficult situations.

    We need to handle both positive and negative emotions appropriately. Being optimistic improves our self-esteem and gives us the resilience to come out of negative emotions and confidently learn from our mistakes.

  • SPIRITUAL
    This allows one to develop a set of values and beliefs that helps in seeking meaning and purpose.
    This strongly emphasises the importance of building inner resources and inner thought. Religion may be one route to enhance one’s spiritual well being.
  • PHYSICAL
    This promotes the care of our bodies for optimal health. This, nutrition and mental health keeps one’s body in top condition. This leads to a healthy lifestyle.

  • INTELLECTUAL
    This encourages learning. It makes one mindful and updated. It makes one open minded in all aspects of life.

  • OCCUPATIONAL
    Occupational wellness inspires us to be prepared for work in which we will gain personal satisfaction and find enrichment in our life. Choosing what your career will be is a very important life choice. One spends the majority of the time at work so the way one feels about the work contributes to one’s overall well-being.

  • FINANCIAL
    Financial wellness is living within one’s means and managing one’s money well. Money plays an important role in our life. Having too much or too little has its impact on our lives.

  • ENVIRONMENTAL
    Environmental wellness encourages us to live a life that is respectable to our surroundings. It enables us to respect all living beings in the world.

  • SOCIAL
    Social well being is the relationships we have and how we interact with others. A supportive social network allows one to develop assertiveness skills and become comfortable with who you are in social situations. A positive social network increases one’s self esteem.

All these 8 dimensions interact, a balance among them is essential for wellness. We can proactively maintain wellness. Wellness improves the quality of one’s life irrespective one’s age. 

 

 

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Dr Shan Narayanan

Dr Shan Narayanan is a Consultant General Paediatrician at Hospital Fatimah, Ipoh. He can be contacted at Hospital Fatimah 05 546 1345 or by email: shaniea02@gmail.com.

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